Magazine article Public Finance

FoI Is Working, but Too Slowly

Magazine article Public Finance

FoI Is Working, but Too Slowly

Article excerpt

Freedom of information legislation is proving useful and effective hut more needs to he done to tackle delays in handling requests, senior backbench MPs said this week.

The Commons' constitutional affairs select committee examined how well the Act was working in practice during 2005 - its first year of operation.

Committee chair Alan Beith said FoI legislation had led to some valuable and significant information coming into the public domain.

But he added: 'Our FoI legislation can only be as good as the quality of the records management it gives us access to, and only if people can get access to the information in a timely way.

'Long delays in accessing information or having complaints resolved go against both the spirit and the letter of the Act, and must be resolved. Records management, and particularly digital records management, must be improved.'

The committee's report, published on June 28, was also critical of the Information Commissioner's Office, whose job it is to regulate and enforce the Act. …

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